Thursday, November 22, 2012

Our Incredible Monster of a Journey Down Under

We've been back for a mere few days from our almost month long trek in the land down under courtesy of the outstanding folks at MONSTER PICTURES. They aren't only the ones unleashing AMERICAN MARY on Australia, but they're also the ones who released our first born baby, DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK across the UK and Australia. To say they always believed in us would be an under statement.

When we were first asked if we'd be up for coming down under to accompany MARY as she made her tour across Australia for 3 weeks, we replied with a resounding 'YES'. We'd never been to Australia, never thought we'd have the opportunity to hit up Australia, and we were dying to not only meet the people who came out to see AMERICAN MARY, we wanted to meet the people who'd been supporting a pair of crazy Canucks since DHIAT.

Neil Foley, Skye Medusa, Sylvia Soska, Jen Soska, Pork Hunt, Vesper White, and Robyn Hardie.
We flew out, quite fittingly, on Halloween night. In case you're wondering, it's a 15 hour plane ride from LAX to Melbourne which you barely notice if you remain barely conscious throughout the flight. Melbourne was to be our first stop and we were treated to a few festival days at Monster Fest before the film's Australian premiere at the 16th Canberra International Film Festival. Australia is a beautiful fucking country with very warm, very Canadian~esque people. One thing you may not know about November, Melbourne, and the what's to do down under, is that they love their horse races. We quickly realized that the Melbourne Cup was under way and, no, all the ladies in fancy dresses with matching extravagant little hats weren't all part of some massive bridal party. They were there for "the race that stops the nation". And it's true. It really does.

The horse to win big, by the by? This adorable little mo fo, Green Moon.
First things first, announce that the Soska Sisters are in town and hit up Monster Fest and all the events. HARD. We got to chat it up all over the place including their local and most cool radio station, RRR

Us with the AMAZING Isabel Peppard
We got to meet a FAN~FUCKING~TASTIC artist who we are both now deeply in love with, Isabel Peppard. Her short film, BUTTFLIES, which was the lead into AMERICAN MARY had the both of us in tears. It's just an astounding film that touches the hearts of every artist who sees it. It was created in TWO years with stunning stop motion and with every character and every detail pain-stakingly designed and carefully placed and planned. The result if one of the most beautiful films we have ever seen. Isabel also created the Monster Fest Promo Video below which is all kinds of badass.


We did arrive to hear some most unpleasant news. That old cunt bag censorship had reared her fugly head and fellow Canadians, the badasses of Astron-6, had had their film, FATHER'S DAY, banned in Australia just 2 DAYS before it was meant to have its Australian Premiere at Monster Fest. This ruling is complete bullshit. Though the reasons were yet to be revealed, it's assumed that a little male nudity may be the culprit, which is ridiculous in a world where female nudity is just considered the norm and barely even gets an eye batted in reaction. Further insulting is that anyone could deem FATHER'S DAY anything but another brilliant, horrific, and hilarious film from the talented Canadian filmmaking group. If you've been lucky enough to see their MANBORG (which we enjoyed giggling like mental patients at the fest), you know what I'm talking about. There is no rational way to conclude that the filmmakers are anything but satirical. Not to mention the film already passed careful censorship inspection over in the UK which is known to be the strictest of the strict. If you haven't seen MANBORG, go see MANBORG.

Honestly, the whole thing stunk of centipede. HUMAN CENTIPEDE 1 & 2 were released also by MONSTER PICTURES and if you don't recall the brain explosions from the censorship boards over those two, welcome out of your cave. It's nice out here in the world. I have a sneaking suspicion that this was little more than scrutiny against MONSTER for their previous releases. Yet from this tragedy came one unexpected happy outcome. DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK stepped up to have an impromptu screening in place of FATHER'S DAY. It would be the first time that we had EVER been present at a festival screening of the film.

It was pretty fucking amazing. But that was just a warm up of awesome. The films playing at Monster Fest were fan~fucking~tastic. And the events? For starters, there was the night of GORE~LESQUE. Anyone that knows us know that we rarely take a break from work and leave the house, but when we do, Tristan Risk is performing her to die for burlesque some place. The Australian troupe was magnificent. Vesper White, Miss Nic, Betty Grumble, Betty Blood, Dusty Vagine (oh my...), Tank, Emily Badsville, Anthony De Masi, Legs 11.11, Slap N Tickle, Kerry X, all hosted by Renny Kodgers.

Before AMERICAN MARY hit Monster Fest, this Twisted Twosome was off to Canberra for the 16th Canberra International Film Fest where festival artistic director, Simon Weaving himself, was kind enough to grab us at the airport and warmly welcome us to his city. Canberra, is the capitol city of Australia, as Sydney and Melbourne couldn't play nice and decide who gets to be it, so they decided to make neither city happy and select Canberra. It's a beautiful, natural city. Upon mentioning that we had yet to see a Kangaroo and it was our dearest Australian wish to, publicist Tritia Evans was sweet enough to take us up the mountain hunting before our round of local press. Seeing our wardrobe and foot wear, she warned us we'd be going in "the bush" and we smiled back saying, "yeah! That's why we wore our walking heels."

Kangaroo seeking, dressed to impress any and all Roos.

Canberra brought a much different audience than we were used to. Often those watching AMERICAN MARY are a collection of sick fucks. You know, like us. And you hear devious laughter and chuckles throughout. This screening brought several gasps. One walk out and one run out. We were greeted by a roaring applause at the end of the film and the audience retold how scared they were and how hard it was for them to watch some of the scenes. We headed out after and spent the night with the wonderful fans who came out until we shut down the pubs. It was back to Melbourne in the morning and we snuck in a few much needed "zzz's" before our adventure back. 

How many radio interviews can we do without our dear friends, "fuck" and "cunt"?
Pre~screening at the 16th Canberra International Film Festival.
A cheers to Canberra! Thanks for kicking all kinds of ass!
Our sweet Rob, who shouted out when we asked who had seen DEAD HOOKER
Two horror icons and legends had arrived at Monster Fest causing a massive stir. The Blond Bombshell, starlet Laurene Landon and the Mistress of Macabre, Elvira. They were not only there because, well, THEY'RE FUCKING LIVING LEGENDS, but also because they were screening ELVIRA: MISTRESS OF THE DARK and MANIAC COP and HUNDRA. The ladies were also very special guest judges for "The Hunt for a Monster Queen" alongside the gore~lesque Goddesses Vesper White and Miss Nic and your friendly neighborhood Twisted Twins. And can I just say that Elvira aka Cassandra Peterson is every bit as drop dead gore~geous as she's ever been and is just about the sweetest human being you'll ever have the pleasure of meeting. Okay, fan girl moment over. Mostly. Fuck, Elvira's awesome...

Of course no trip to Australia can ever be complete without meeting Australia's national treasure, WOLF CREEK director/writer/producer, Greg McLean. We were introduced by the wonderful Cam Oliver. Greg is every bit as amazingly amazing as you'd think him to be and for one sick fuck, he's just the sweetest. Not only were we treated to a tour of his production offices jam packed with memorabilia and props and a comic book with Captain America punching Hitler on the cover (rad), and an extensive chat about filmmaking and swapping war stories and chatting up about local serial killers (trust me, they've got some VERY creative killers down there), he gave us each personalized signed copies of his films and a little bobble head each of the notorious Mick Taylor who's "tiny shot gun" had every security personnel at every bloody airport stop us to check it out and then recalled the first time they saw WOLF CREEK and how badly it had fucked them up. Thank you most kindly, Greg.   
When the Twisted Twins met Greg McLean, Badass Director Extraordinaire

Jen Soska, unofficial triplet Greg McLean, and Sylvia Soska
Best gifts ever! The gift of Horror just keeps on giving
No tongue, you big sexy Rogue, I promise...
And we can't talk about badass mother fuckers with mentioning our most beloved friend and sick bastard, director Alex Chandon. I had first seen Alex's work when I stumbled upon a copy of CRADLE OF FEAR. By stumbled I mean I was working at a video game store that took trade ins and an angry girlfriend (ex-girlfriend?) came in with all her boyfriend's horror movies and games and traded them in. Among the treasures that no sane person would give up so willingly was a film that I had only heard legends of, CRADLE OF FEAR. I aptly purchased it off her and when the aforementioned, and heartbroken for various reasons, boyfriend came to the store looking to reclaim his stock, I sadly told him that COF had been already sold to a lucky customer. The film is made with the band CRADLE OF FILTH and it's a real fucking trip.

The next time we would come into contact with Alex would be quite literally in London at Fright Fest or more accurately outside in an alley way outside of the infamous Phoenix Pub. We wouldn't see his new nightmare, INBRED, until we got to the TORONTO AFTER DARK FILM FESTIVAL where it was the talk of the town. The trailer enticed many to pile into the theatre the night of the screening where they groaned and squirmed in their seats whereas other, more twisted members of the audience, laughed morbidly and cheered. We were in the cheering section. 

We met again in Australia, always a trip to meet and see old friends across the globe. The best way I can describe our union is the lot of us becoming a gang of hoodlums. Alex's work may be some of the most disturbing, creatively disgusting, yet somehow darkly hilarious work I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. Alex himself is just about the coolest guy in the universe. Whether we went to the zoo, saw films at the fest, went out for drinks, hunted for Kangaroos, or you name it, there was nothing like hanging out with a director we not only admire the fuck out of, but also absolutely adore in every way possible.

If there was an "I love Alex Chandon" fan club, we'd be president and chairman. Wait a sec, there very well MAY be, gotta look into that shit...

The Melbourne Zoo Posse, The Twisted Twins, Alex Chandon, and superstar Simon Eric Harcourt
Our journey to the Melbourne Zoo was only possible because of Simon Eric Harcourt, premium ticket holder who was ever so kind enough to hang out with us. And because his dad works at the Zoo, he was able to treat us to an amazing time there including reptile cuddling. Okay, okay, reptile "h-o-l-d-i-n-g", but I was pretty insistent on the cuddling. They even had a tarantula and bug section, though Australia isn't allowed to import foreign breeds due to the risk of them getting out and effecting their delicate eco system. 

The undisputed Spider Queen and ambassador of eight legged peoples
Also, a word to the wise, stay away from rattle snakes. Just, pretty much stay the fuck away from them. They don't really have an beef with humans, so best to just leave them be. In fact, if there's an area that's known to have them, just go somewhere else. It's, like, a super big planet and after being described, with photo accompaniment, of how their venom liquifies your cells, I decided it's probably just for the best to leave them alone. 

Breaking news, Rattlesnakes ARE deadly little fuckers. Who woulda thunk?
Though, it was cool to see one safely behind glass all pissed and rattly. I'll admit, it was pretty cute.

This little corn snake reminds me of mine! My Conan O'Brien :)
Our debut of AMERICAN MARY at Monster Fest had our biggest audience reaction EVER!!! Cheers, applause, laughter, groans... there was even one very special moment at a scene I will not ruin here for you where the audience began to moan and Sylv and I laughed at them. The whole theatre erupted in laughter hearing us. It was really something special. 

After Melbourne and Monster Fest concluded, we had an AMERICAN MARY themed closing night party where many a liver was thoroughly abused, ha ha. We stayed until the very end of the end, meeting and greeting and signing and taking photos with everyone. It was really amazing to have so many people come out and to get behind the film. From there we hit up Perth and we began our tour of THREE cities in THREE days. Perth, Sydney, and finally concluding at Brisbane and the Brisbane International Film Festival. The most touching thing of it all was the fans, who are really so much more like friends. The people that come out to see the film, the people who supported us way back when in the DEAD HOOKER days, the ones who stick around through the Q and As, the ones who stuck around LONG after, the ones who took photos, and tweeted and tumbled and facebooked. It was and remains the reason we do what we do. We're really just horror fans first and foremost and to be doing what we get to do is the thrill of a life time.

These are the people we do it all for...

And they'd never ask for thanks or want the spotlight, but we just must gush about MONSTER PICTURES. They brought us down, they showed us the time of our lives, and this was their FIRST Monster Fest and it was just splendid. They also have been backing us since we first drop kicked our way onto the scene and they've supported so many others. I expect they'll have our back for long into the future. Neil Foley, Grant Hardie (and the gore~geous Robyn), Ben Hellwig, Zak Hepburn, you mother fuckers are amazing. 

Jen Soska, Cassandra Peterson, Neil Foley (with Wilma), Alex Chandon, and Sylvia Soska
Sylvia Soska with Grant Hardie
Ben Hellwig and Jen Soska
Zak Hepburn unfazed by Jen Soska
Ben Hellwig, Sylvia Soska, Zak Hepburn, and every Redbull of the Rainbow
Neil Foley, Ben Hellwig, and Jen Soska trying out her new Human Centipede grade barf bag!
We were welcomed in like family and had absolutely the time of our lives whether we'd be hitting the press, or hunting for Roos, or talking about hilarious porn we'd seen, or having a drink, or watching the whippet races, or telling us stories about your local serial killers. Thank you for being so kind to us and showing us Australia. We cannot wait to return and we'll never forget our time down under with you all.

Australia, awesome Aussies, Monster Pictures, you will be sorely missed...
AMERICAN MARY hits Australian theatres in Sydney and Melbourne on November 29th!!! Get your gore~geous asses out there and come get some ;)

Us, we're off to catch up on some MUCH needed "work"...

Deadpool gets all the hunnys...
Fatally Yours,
Jen and Sylv


1 comment:

  1. Great article and photos. Looks like you guys had a lot fun :)